KIM

Frontrunning: February 11

  • Gold Roars to One-Year High as Turmoil Drives Safe Haven Demand (BBG)
  • Banking Stocks Pummeled in Europe (WSJ)
  • Dollar, stocks plunge sparks scramble for safety (Reuters)
  • Nymex Crude Slips Below $27 a Barrel (WSJ)
  • No Respite for S&P 500 as U.S. Stock Futures Join Global Selloff (BBG)

North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

After "preparing" for over a week, moments ago at 00:31 UTC time, North Korea - which has failed to shock the world with some "news" for over a month when it tested a "hydrogen" bomb which according to experts was anything but - launched a long-range rocket which some say is being used as a cover for banned missile test. North Korea has called the launch an attempt to "peacefully launch a satellite." Japan, however, is not happy as according to initial reports, it flew over its airspace in proximity to Okinawa.

Pentagon Will Spend $3.4 Billion Next Year To Keep You Safe From "Aggressive" Russians

It's a dangerous world out there and these are exceptionally uncertain times. Fortunately, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter is a dangerous man and if you give him $582 million of your tax dollars, he'll keep you safe from sneaky Russians, scheming Chinese, plotting Iranians, unpredictable North Koreans, and bloodthirsty terrorists. 

Fantasy? North Korea's "Hangover-Free Alcohol" Or America's "Consequence-Free Debt"

While we may poke fun at North Koreans’ gullibility, frankly we don’t find the idea of ‘hangover-free alcohol’ any dumber or less deceptive than the idea of ‘consequence-free debt’. Or the idea that you can print your way to prosperity. Hangover-free alcohol is pretty silly. But in the West, we believe the biggest lies of all...

 

Why Is North Korea Our Problem?

Once, there was a time when Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Tojo ruled almost all of Eurasia. And another time when a monolithic Sino-Soviet Communist bloc ruled from the Elbe to the Pacific. As those times are long gone, is it not time for an exhaustive review of the alliances we have entered into and the war guarantees we have issued, to fight for nations and interests other than our own?

Global Stocks Crash After Spiraling Chinese Devaluation Unleashes Worldwide Chaos And Selling

Once China set the Yuan fixing some 0.5% lower, the biggest drop since the August devaluation, all hell broke loose and unleashed a global selling panic after China's stock market was promptly shut down less than 30 minutes into trading, then European shares dropped the most in more than 4 months as Asian equities plunges, as did US stock futures, the dollar weakened against the euro and the yen; crude plunged to fresh 12 year lows. Gold rose.

Pretend To The Bitter End

There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.